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Never would have believed it... #8181759 02/24/21 12:19 AM
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And yet, there it was to see.

We've got a feeder about 150 yards below the house and it provides regular game viewing opportunities...and this evening wasn't any different. We'd spent the afternoon doing some clean-up after last week's Polar Party and, when I realized that the feeder should have already gone off, I walked over to a window and picked up the pair of binos next to it. There were several deer in the area, but two caught my eye immediately as their movements were immediately recognizable...confusing and wrong...but recognizable.

I was watching a youngster eight point (we see him like clockwork; a bit narrow but with good mass and height for his age) and he was CLEARLY tending the doe in front of him. My initial thought was "wishful thinking, young man"...but then I started studying the doe's posture and saw that she was showing all the signs of being IN SEASON. I watched for 10-15 minutes straight and then, sure enough, the buck mounted her!

This was a young doe, but the timing is about as wrong as it gets. Should she stick, and carry to term, she'd be dropping that fawn sometime in September.

Nature's a funny thing sometimes. Glad I got to see this take place.

Mark


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"I always take care to fire into the nearest hillside and, lacking that, into darkness". - the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8181907 02/24/21 02:08 AM
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They'll go at it until the last doe is bred.


Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8181908 02/24/21 02:09 AM
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We had a fawn drop in late August last year. She made it through the heat and the polar vortex last week. She is doing fine.


God bless John Wayne!
Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: Pope&Young] #8181935 02/24/21 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Pope&Young
They'll go at it until the last doe is bred.


True dat. But the last week of February is certainly pushing things!


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Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: cheetah577] #8181937 02/24/21 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by cheetah577
We had a fawn drop in late August last year. She made it through the heat and the polar vortex last week. She is doing fine.


The stamina of nature is a miracle to behold sometimes!

Mark


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"I always take care to fire into the nearest hillside and, lacking that, into darkness". - the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: cheetah577] #8181964 02/24/21 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cheetah577
We had a fawn drop in late August last year. She made it through the heat and the polar vortex last week. She is doing fine.


That’s great!

Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8182200 02/24/21 12:38 PM
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A couple of days ago right after the snow thawed I saw a really good buck, at least for around here after a doe.

Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8182226 02/24/21 01:04 PM
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The latest I've ever seen a buck hot on a doe was the 1st week of March.
This was 20+ years ago and was not in south Texas but was right in Garden Ridge. What was even crazier is that buck had already lost one side of his antlers!.

Does being bred in February is really not all that uncommon as I've seem many tiny spotted fawns over the years in early bow season down south.

Gestation is about 200 days or 6.5 months so if she gets bred the last week of February the fawn(s) should be born about the 2nd week of September.


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8182308 02/24/21 02:16 PM
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Very common in some areas of the state for doe fawns to now be large/old enough to breed. The parts of the state with early ruts(Oct for instance) will see more of the doe fawns involved in the rutting activity right now. I have personally watched bucks chasing and tending doe fawns in late Feb and into the first week of March on 3 different ranches I managed in the Hill Country, eastern Central Texas and South Texas. I have found live WT fawns on the ground in the first week of April on two different ranches in Central Texas. Found fawns every year the last week of April on one ranch. Those doe fawns will be big and healthy enough to breed by Jan of that hunting season. One year in South Texas I watched 2 bucks that had a doe fawn cornered in thick brush inside a feeder pen. That was the first week of March. On that same ranch we killed a lot of does a few years later and I found 2 of the 1.5 yr old does that were killed in January to be lactating and were bred back in late January (MLD). I have posted this pic before but it shows a buck standing close to a spotted fawn...this was on November 9. It was more than likely a fawn born to a doe fawn that would have been bred in January or Feb of the same year. I found two bucks dead and locked up from fighting the first week of March one year on this same ranch. Doe fawns cause a lot issues when they are big/old/healthy enough to start to breed.
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Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8182400 02/24/21 03:19 PM
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As we move further south, no doubt that Q1 breeding takes place...like you I've seen small fawns in October and November.

My sense is that this occurs less and less the further north we move. It took fourteen years for me to witness it here!

Mark


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"I always take care to fire into the nearest hillside and, lacking that, into darkness". - the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8182415 02/24/21 03:33 PM
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I have seen fawns born as early as the third week in April and as late as October...however the conversion for fawns and 1 1/2 yr. old does caring fawns to term are very low, probably around .01 to .16. Don't get me wrong as I haven't made a point to research the issue but the numbers I have quoted are points I have collected during other studies. I am not a biologist but some biologist have stated during their studies they have found that all does are bred each year. I have not found that to be a fact..but like I said I have numbers with very low conversions. Nothing is impossible I guess, and I will not argue the point as I just have not taken the time to get this particular data. If I were to try to recover data I would have to be in a pen or have the fawning areas covered directly which is not always easy to determine the exact area for cameras. However I will research this one day the best I can. Developing the process could take as much as 5 years...at least for me at best guess. The research group in Kerr wildlife research and development would be where I would start as they already have much data to start with...and may have the numbers we would be looking for. Does it matter...SURE it does... as anything you can learn about whitetails needs to be published for all of us to read and learn. We are all interested ....reason for this thread.lol

Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8182664 02/24/21 06:50 PM
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I have a friend in Tom Green County that TTT'd deer off of his ranch for many years to get numbers down without having to shoot so many deer. He kept extensive records on those deer caught and TTT'd off the ranch. His rut starts is in mid November. He has seen fawns on the ground as early as early May with most on the ground late May to early June from his records. He also TTT'd off a lot of doe fawns each year. He found (from his records) that around 40-45% of those 1.5 yr old does caught and moved off the ranch were lactating and had produced a fawn(s). TPWD did not agree with what he said, so he invited them out to check on their own when they caught again. TPWD biologist found 60% of the 1.5 yr old does caught for TTT were lactating. Age, body size, health and date of birth on the doe fawns is what allows them to breed early. Lactation and breeding does not equate to everyone raising the fawns that are born to them. Just a number to base it off of. The earlier your fawns are born..(no matter where you are in the state) the more likely you will see rutting activity in that area. There are pockets in East Texas that have an October rut...just like some areas along the coast you can see rutting in late Sept into October.


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Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8182885 02/24/21 09:59 PM
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It is kinda like with my Ibex. I usually put the Billy in with the Nannies in Sept. Most do not breed until Oct. They will start having Kids in Feb. It is usually the older females that Kid first. Then it seems as if the kidding goes according to age. And lastly there might even be a yearling that kids in May if I leave the male in long enough. A lot depends on age of females and body condition. Maybe some of the kids or fawns were born very early and they reached the age to breed at that time of the year. I am not quite certain if my rambling makes any sense to some.

Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8182899 02/24/21 10:19 PM
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WOW...that is great he has such production, for me that would be a nightmare, on 1.5 yr. olds...what was his total fawn production in as far as total does? What was his doe demographics numbers(number of 1.5, 2.5,3.5 4.5, 5.5 and 6.5 and older) for the year during the trappings? I have never had 1.5 yr. olds with that many fawns. Maybe he has something special..lol . Just curious on ratios and density's. The density can get away from ya in a horrible way..if the heard is producing out of control, as I would think is what has happened I would have kept no does older than 2.5 yr.s old. I can believe for me 2.5 yr.olds can produce that much and a little more. I would not like to be in his shoes. I would believe with the numbers I think he could have, the heard would be in horrible shape and would think doe cycling would be late for a lot of does. I would also think buck stats wouldn't look much better unless he is feeding like crazy. This is so interesting to me...I wonder if this is a high fence? That is where I think something like this could happen. Where I hunt I would talk to my neighbors and have a lot of does harvested. "I do believe what you are saying for sure"..It is just that I haven't seen that happen to me. I have led a sheltered life...lol
If he counts his deer I wounder how the herd got so off kilter. I think we are missing something...

Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8183072 02/25/21 12:59 AM
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All the more reason to be aggressive with your doe harvest and then, when your ratio is in line, you have to take fawns and yearlings.

Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8183462 02/25/21 01:04 PM
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I would like to see his management plan for his pasture. If he is following a plan ...he needs professional help. However, I do understand how his density can get away from him, but he can bring it back in a couple of years ...possibly. I don't want to speak out of turn as I don't know what is going on as far as a plan. His biologist could help.

Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8183549 02/25/21 02:25 PM
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Hudbone your probably right, however, if it were me, I would work on a balancing the age of my heard in a way that a normal harvest would keep the density and ratios in check. You can't do that if you don't know your average age of the doe heard. I would try to keep my doe heard age somewhere around something less than an average of 3.0 years old. You cannot do this with flashlight surveys...you have to do a census every year. This process is not easy but if you want to control the heard this is what you have to do. For me to do a census ..I have to count the fawns by camera where you identify each fawn for every year. Then get a buck to doe ratio, which takes sometimes as much as 30 days or as little as 9 days and last but not least you have to get an individual buck count. After about 5 years you will be able to control the heard with small adjustments. The heard will be what you it to be year after year. It is extremely difficult to try to do this with a light(flashlight) survey since it is only accurate to less than 60% accurate. With a survey you can get turned around in a way such that you can never be able to be headed in the right direction. A census check is about 95 % accurate if done right...if not, then it will take longer with more work and frustration but still better than a survey. What I am saying is to do it right is a lot of work but when ya have it going, it will work like a well oiled machine. You will make mistakes, especially if you use some of the on line procedures..in the long run , you will be in good shape as especially on high fences. ...low fences like I have, it has to be as good as you can get...with the information you have collected. Later you will be able to "calculate" the future fawns, does, bucks, density, and ratio with accuracy....you will be able to calculate the exact amount of harvest needed. You will be able to plan years in advance. This is the best and only way to write a real management plan you can stick your teeth into.
Hope this wasn't too long winded.lol

Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: stxranchman] #8183718 02/25/21 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
I have a friend in Tom Green County that TTT'd deer off of his ranch for many years to get numbers down without having to shoot so many deer. He kept extensive records on those deer caught and TTT'd off the ranch. His rut starts is in mid November. He has seen fawns on the ground as early as early May with most on the ground late May to early June from his records. He also TTT'd off a lot of doe fawns each year. He found (from his records) that around 40-45% of those 1.5 yr old does caught and moved off the ranch were lactating and had produced a fawn(s). TPWD did not agree with what he said, so he invited them out to check on their own when they caught again. TPWD biologist found 60% of the 1.5 yr old does caught for TTT were lactating. Age, body size, health and date of birth on the doe fawns is what allows them to breed early. Lactation and breeding does not equate to everyone raising the fawns that are born to them. Just a number to base it off of. The earlier your fawns are born..(no matter where you are in the state) the more likely you will see rutting activity in that area. There are pockets in East Texas that have an October rut...just like some areas along the coast you can see rutting in late Sept into October.



STX, sorry for the ignorance, what does TTT'd mean?

Also, I shot a doe that seemed to be alone in Mid November that was full and lactating. This was near Seymour in Baylor County.

I hunt in Irion county, just west of Tom Green, and for anyone that hasn't hunted out there, the deer density is HIGH.

Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: Ktexas14] #8183795 02/25/21 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ktexas14
Originally Posted by stxranchman
I have a friend in Tom Green County that TTT'd deer off of his ranch for many years to get numbers down without having to shoot so many deer. He kept extensive records on those deer caught and TTT'd off the ranch. His rut starts is in mid November. He has seen fawns on the ground as early as early May with most on the ground late May to early June from his records. He also TTT'd off a lot of doe fawns each year. He found (from his records) that around 40-45% of those 1.5 yr old does caught and moved off the ranch were lactating and had produced a fawn(s). TPWD did not agree with what he said, so he invited them out to check on their own when they caught again. TPWD biologist found 60% of the 1.5 yr old does caught for TTT were lactating. Age, body size, health and date of birth on the doe fawns is what allows them to breed early. Lactation and breeding does not equate to everyone raising the fawns that are born to them. Just a number to base it off of. The earlier your fawns are born..(no matter where you are in the state) the more likely you will see rutting activity in that area. There are pockets in East Texas that have an October rut...just like some areas along the coast you can see rutting in late Sept into October.



STX, sorry for the ignorance, what does TTT'd mean?

Also, I shot a doe that seemed to be alone in Mid November that was full and lactating. This was near Seymour in Baylor County.

I hunt in Irion county, just west of Tom Green, and for anyone that hasn't hunted out there, the deer density is HIGH.

KT, the TTT is a permit to Trap, transport, and transplant WT deer that the TP&W issues out.


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: stxranchman] #8184885 02/26/21 07:35 PM
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Great picture.

Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8185113 02/26/21 11:17 PM
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Back when I was guiding I came across a spotted fawn in November one year.

Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8190721 03/03/21 05:00 PM
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The gentleman I hunt with up here in Nebraska is a Coordinator Biology Masters program at the University. He sent me this article this morning. I remembered this post and thought you all might find it interesting. Certainly surprised me but the pictures are there to support it. They observed breeding activity up here in April a few years back.

https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/tnas/529/

Last edited by Huskerron; 03/03/21 05:08 PM.
Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8192021 03/04/21 06:54 PM
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The really young guys are still sparring in cross timbers. Maybe trying to help shed

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Re: Never would have believed it... [Re: 218 Bee] #8192581 03/05/21 03:24 AM
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Saw a decent 8 point Monday running a doe. Then about 10 minutes later this guy stepped out hot on the trail too.
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This was west of Austin in Bee Creek.

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